I have a confession to make. I used the "s-word" in class yesterday. Repeatedly.
Fed up with seeing the same kids coasting through class, eyes fixed on the floor, the wall, or their pencil while we read through instructions for an upcoming activity, I decided to say something about it.
I told the kids that I felt that some very Stupid decisions were being made. I told them that there were lots and lots of Stupid adults in the world. That I knew some of them and that they were no fun to be around. That Stupid adults made Stupid choices as kids and decided to be Stupid students.
I then made it clear to the kids that I wasn't calling any of them Stupid, but that some very Stupid decisions were being made. That if they didn't want to become Stupid adults, they needed to make sure that they did NOT turn into Stupid students.
After that, the hands-on, small group activity went REALLY well!